For Amy the countdown to graduation has begun, and suddenly the perfect ending to a perfectly iconoclast Eli career is slipping from her grasp. Her new boyfriend’s been made an offer he just can’t refuse. Her fellowship applications haven’t even been filed. And the student she’s chosen to take her place in Rose & Grave- the country’s most powerful and notorious secret society- seems to come complete with a secret life already intact.
Lunging toward the finish line, Amy finds trouble around every corner, from society intrigues and unlikely stalkers to former flames and mandatory science credits. Surely it couldn’t get worse… until Initiation Night explodes into a terrifying scene and into a last test of wits for a young woman just trying to make it out of the Ivy League in one piece.
This is the final book in Diana Peterfreund’s Secret Society Girl series, and I was so sorry to see this series end. I picked up the first two books on a whim from the library a few years ago, and instantly fell in love with Amy and her fellow Diggers (with a few exceptions, of course). So I was both dreading and anxious for the release of Tap and Gown, which came out in May. I was eager to see how Amy finished out her career at Eli (which is a very thinly veiled representation of Yale, where Peterfreund spent her own undergraduate career), but I wasn’t ready to part ways with characters who have entertained me for the last two years.
I was more interested in what was happening in Amy’s unlikely relationship than I was with the process of tapping the next class of Diggers, and I shared her ambivalence for her own chosen successor. While it was nice to see the process leading up to Tap Night (something the audience missed out on due to the fact that Amy was a last-minute tap), Tap Night and the Initiation Night process seemed a touch repetitive. Initiation Night itself whipped along at a frenetic pace, and when it came to the climactic moment, I found myself flipping back and re-reading the pages thinking, “What just happened?”
The previously mentioned relationship came about as a result of the events of the third novel, Rights of Spring (Break), and it was one that wasn’t all that surprising to anyone who’s read the first three books of the series (the exception to this would be my best friend, who was stunned by the revelation). For me, this relationship was welcome, new, and exciting, but I feel like it wasn’t given enough justice. Of course, nothing in this relationship goes easy, given how it has developed over the course of the series.
Overall, I felt like this was definitely a strong conclusion to the series, and I am going to miss Amy and her friends very much. The series ended in the best possible place: Amy was moving on to another chapter in her life, and I, as the reader, was left wanting more.
(Summary taken from the back cover of the novel)
Rating: 4 stars
Qualifying Challenges: 100 Books, Countdown Challenge, 999 Challenge
999 Category: 2009 Releases